Throwback Classic: 1949 Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster

Regarded by many as the pinnacle symbol of French automotive beauty and strength, the 1949 Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster was recently sold at the world-renowned RM Auctions for an astounding $3.3 million.

T19492he reason for the high price is tied to the Saoutchik’s unique design, incredible attention to detail, and undeniable historical importance. says of the vehicle, “Using the French curves of the thirties with more modern baroque ornamentation, Saoutchik conveys a sense of drama and movement with this design…At the time, the aggressive use of chrome was revolutionary and an emerging trend that the American manufacturers would go on to master.”

The official RM Auctions’ profile adds, “As is the case with most landmark examples of the coachbuilder’s art, much of this Delahaye’s beauty is evident in the details, such as chrome accents that highlight the curves, the embedded turn signals or the small strips which flank the sides, adding grace, length and a sense of speed while cleverly hiding the door handles. The graceful façade was inspired by the Narvals produced just a year earlier.”

“The astonishing interior is remarkably contemporary, incorporating a stylized eagle’s head on each door panel and bracketing an expansive dash panel that seems aircraft inspired with its rows of knobs and stunning transparent Lucite steering wheel.

Built right after World War 2 (one of the most innovative time periods in all of automotive design), this dynamic vehicle featured an all-new chassis and included a much, much larger 4.5-liter engine, a De-Dion rear suspension, Dubbonet front suspension, Lockhead brakes, as well as a radio and heater (which were actually considered novelties at the time).

So, what do you think of the car? Beautiful masterpiece, or overrated as all hell??? Let us know in the comments below!




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